We introduce the children to a wealth of activities that prepares each child for handwriting. We refer to the physical act of using a writing implement as the mechanics of writing (as opposed to the process of writing). Practical life activities (such as polishing or table scrubbing) help children learn order, sequence, and the pattern of left to right, top to bottom we use with writing and reading. Any sensorial exercise that requires the lifting of a knob offers an opportunity for strengthening the musculature in the hand. Rough and smooth boards help the child learn the lightness of touch needed to make the strokes associated with handwriting. Before a child is ever introduced to a pencil, she engages in months of practice writing individual letters- and learning how to connect the letters to make words- on a chalkboard. We begin with a large chalkboard and then move to smaller chalkboards, and later introduce the added challenge of writing on lines. We formally demonstrate how to use a pencil through work with the metal insets. We use this material to show how to fill each shape using a serpentine line that flows continuously as one uses when writing in cursive. Only when we are sure the child will be successful, do we invite him or her to try writing with a pencil and paper.
At Home Metal Inset Activity:
Directions: Complete each metal inset using serpentine “up-and-down” lines with a colored pencil. Use whatever color you choose. (See example on the last page). The child may choose one shape, two shapes, or three shapes based on the lessons received at school.
Directions: Practice writing individual letters on your chalkboard (preferably a large wall chalkboard). Over time, work towards connecting the same letters together. Then, begin connecting different letters together to make words. Move gradually to writing words on lined chalkboards.
Handwriting Practice - Green Boards
Directions: Practice writing letters that begin in the same manner following the groupings illustrated on the green boards below. Begin by practicing on a large chalkboard. Over time, move to a small chalkboard and practice writing on lines. Lastly, practice writing on paper.
Handwriting Practice- Individual Letters
Directions: Use the printed sheets to practice cursive writing of individual letters. Please remember, practice on the chalkboard too! Over time, work towards connecting the same letters together. Then, begin connecting different letters together to make words and phrases.
Handwriting Practice - Connected Letters
Directions: Use these printed sheets to practice connecting letters using cursive writing. Please remember, practice on the chalkboard too! Begin by connecting the same letters together. Then, begin connecting different letters together to make words and phrases.
Please visit the Writing page for more information and activities that support the process of writing (or the expressing of one’s own thoughts using the symbols of our language).